Introduction -- Fatalism, free will, and foreknowledge -- Mind, the metric, and conventionality -- Time travel and backward causation -- Time's origin, and relationism vs. substantivalism -- McTaggart, tensed facts, and time's flow -- Presentism, the block universe, and perduring objects -- The arrow of time -- Zeno's paradoxes and supertasks.
F. H. Bradley (1846-1924) was considered in his day to be the greatest British philosopher since Hume. For modern philosophers he continues to be an important and influential figure. However, the opposition to metaphysical thinking throughout most of the twentieth century has somewhat eclipsed his important place in the history of British thought. Consequently, although there is renewed interest in his ideas and role in the development of Western philosophy, his writings are often hard to find. This collection unites (...) all of his published works, much of which has long been out of print, together with selected notebooks, articles, and correspondence from his previously unpublished remains. The set therefore provides the opportunity to view his entire philosophy, both in the breadth of its scope - from critical history and ethics through logic to metaphysics and epistemology - and in its historical development - from the earliest Hegelian writings to the later more psychological and pragmatic work. In addition the set features introductions to Bradley's writings, life and character, providing the framework to assess his permanent importance in the history of philosophy. --the first ever publication of all Bradley's works --includes 5 volumes of reset material, mostly never before published --a collecton that all serious philosophy libraries should have --extremely comprehensive new editorial matter --volumes 4 & 5 are indexed by subject and name --collects Bradley's correspondence, spanning 50 years, with Russell, Samuel Alexander, Bosanquet, Haldane, William James, Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison, and many others --includes Bradley's notes on Green's lectures on ethics, selected undergraduate essays, notebooks preparatory of his major works, lists of what Bradley read, essays that never reached publication, inventory of Bradley's papers, and a catalogue of Bradley's personal library. (shrink)
This book comprises essays in law and legal theory celebrating the life and work of Jim Harris. The topics addressed reflect the wide range of Harris's work, and the depth of his influence on legal studies. They include the nature of law and legal reasoning, rival theories of property rights and their impact on practical questions before the courts; the nature of precedent in legal argument; and the evolving concept of human rights and its place in legal discourse.
It has been proposed that the law of non-contradiction be revised to permit the simultaneous truth and falsity of the key sentences of the logical paradoxes, e.g., “This sentence is false”. In an attempt to show to what extent this bizarre suggestion of inconsistent models or truth-value “gluts” is a coherent suggestion it is proved that a first-order language for number theory can be semantically closed by having its own global truth predicate under some non-standard interpretation and thus that it (...) actually can contain the Liar sentence. It is proved that in this interpretation the Liar sentence is both true and false, although not every sentence is. (shrink)
Time Time is what clocks measure. The three key features of time are that it orders events in sequence one after the other; it specifies how long any event lasts; and it specifies when events occur. Yet despite 2,500 years of investigating time, many issues about it are unresolved. Here is a list of the […].
Philosophers are interested in a constellation of issues involving the concept of truth. A preliminary issue, although somewhat subsidiary, is to decide what sorts of things can be true. Is truth a property of sentences (which are linguistic entities in some language or other), or is truth a property of propositions (nonlinguistic, abstract and timeless entities)? The principal issue is: What is truth? It is the problem of being clear about what you are saying when you say some claim or (...) other is true. The most important theories of truth are the Correspondence Theory, the Semantic Theory, the Deflationary Theory, the Coherence Theory, and the Pragmatic Theory. They are explained and compared here. Whichever theory of truth is advanced to settle the principal issue, there are a number of additional issues to be addressed: i. Can claims about the future be true now? ii. Can there be some algorithm for finding truth – some recipe or procedure for deciding, for any claim in the system of, say, arithmetic, whether the claim is true? iii. Can the predicate “is true” be completely defined in other terms so that it can be eliminated, without loss of meaning, from any context in which it occurs? iv. To what extent do theories of truth avoid paradox? v. Is the goal of scientific research to achieve truth? Table of Contents.. (shrink)
The Infinite Working with the infinite is tricky business. Zeno’s paradoxes first alerted philosophers to this in 450 B.C.E. when he argued that a fast runner such as Achilles has an infinite number of places to reach during the pursuit of a slower runner. Since then, there has been a struggle to understand how to […].
The eighteenth century was a time of brilliant philosophical innovation in Britain. In Of Liberty and Necessity James A. Harris presents the first comprehensive account of the period's discussion of what remains a central problem of philosophy, the question of the freedom of the will. He offers new interpretations of contributions to the free will debate made by canonical figures such as Locke, Hume, Edwards, and Reid, and also discusses in detail the arguments of some less familiar writers. (...) class='Hi'>Harris puts the eighteenth-century debate about the will and its freedom in the context of the period's concern with applying what Hume calls the "experimental method of reasoning" to the human mind. His book will be of substantial interest to historians of philosophy and anyone concerned with the free will problem. (shrink)
Fischer on death and unexperienced evils Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9667-0 Authors Ben Bradley, Philosophy Department, Syracuse University, 541 Hall of Languages, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
John Harris has previously proposed that there is a moral duty to participate in scientific research. This concept has recently been challenged by Iain Brassington, who asserts that the principles cited by Harris in support of the duty to research fail to establish its existence. In this paper we address these criticisms and provide new arguments for the existence of a moral obligation to research participation. This obligation, we argue, arises from two separate but related principles. The principle (...) of fairness obliges us to support the social institutions which sustain us, of which research is one; while the principle of beneficence, or the duty of rescue, imposes upon us a duty to prevent harm to others, including by supporting potentially beneficial, even life-saving research. We argue that both these lines of argument support the duty to research, and explore further aspects of this duty, such as to whom it is owed and how it might be discharged. (shrink)
In Reason's Grief, George Harris takes W. B. Yeats's comment that we begin to live only when we have conceived life as tragedy as a call for a tragic ethics, something the modern West has yet to produce. He argues that we must turn away from religious understandings of tragedy and the human condition and realize that our species will occupy a very brief period of history, at some point to disappear without a trace. We must accept an ethical (...) perspective that avoids pernicious fantasies about ultimate redemption but that sees tragic loss as a permanent and pervasive aspect of our daily lives, yet finds a way to think, feel, and act with both passion and hope. Reason's Grief takes us back through the history of our thinking about value to find our way. The call is for nothing less than a paradigm shift for understanding both tragedy and ethics. (shrink)
In this comprehensive study of Wittgenstein's modal theorizing, Bradley offers a radical reinterpretation of Wittgenstein's early thought and presents both an interpretive and a philosophical thesis. A unique feature of Bradley's analysis is his reliance on Wittgenstein's Notebooks, which he believes offer indispensable guidance to the interpretation of difficult passages in the Tractatus. Bradley then goes on to argue that Wittgenstein's account of modality--and the related notion of possible worlds--is in fact superior to any of the (...) currently popular theories in this area. In this context, he examines and critiques the work of such figures as Adams, Carnap, Hintikka, Lewis, Rescher, and Stalnaker. (shrink)
In this issue of CQ we introduce a new feature, in which noted bioethicists are invited to reflect on vital current issues. Our first invitee, John Harris, will subsequently assume editorship of this section.
In drawing on my own research and collaborative work with Karl Pribram, I show that love (affective attachment) and power (social control) play a central role in psychosocial evolution. When these relations are coupled in a self-regulating system of cooperative interactions, brain growth is stimulated, mind and agency develop, and stable forms of collective social organization are generated. Focusing on the endogenous dynamics of social collectives, the article is organized in four parts. (A "social collective" is defined as a (...) durable arrangement of relations among two or more individuals that is distinguished by shared membership and collaboration in relation to a common function or goal.) Part I summarizes evidence from developmental neuropsychology and social science to show that stable psychosocial organization, across the human life span, is associated with social interaction organized along two dimensions. One dimension involves love, positive affective attachment, and the second involves power, social regulation of the aroused affective energy. Part II draws on Piaget's theory of cooperation and Bradley and Pribrams' theory of communication to describe how mind and agency are generated, and how stable organization is produced, respectively, from the relations involved in the arousal and regulation of affective energy. Combining elements of the two theories, Part III presents a sketch of a holographic model of collective organization in which goal-directed behavior is generated by a feed-forward process involving imaging and information processing of interaction along the two dimensions. Part IV shows how the model accounts for the emergence of human agency within the context of a more general evolutionary theory, such as Laszlo's. The article concludes with a discussion of my approach for building a "fully human theory of evolution.". (shrink)
The Doomsday Argument says we should increase our subjective probability that Doomsday will occur once we take into account how many humans have lived before us. One objection to this conclusion is that we should accept the Self-Indication Assumption (SIA): Given the fact that you exist, you should (other things equal) favor hypotheses according to which many observers exist over hypotheses on which few observers exist. Nick Bostrom argues that we should not accept the SIA, because it can be used (...) without knowledge of birth rank. Bradley Monton tries to construct a Doomsday Argument without knowledge of birth rank. I argue that Monton fails. The argument he constructs has implicit knowledge of birth rank and it is this knowledge that does the work. Furthermore, I argue that provided we dont have certain specific information about the future, the Doomsday Argument requires knowledge of birth rank. (shrink)
Nigel Harris argues that the notion of national capital is becoming redundant as cities and their citizens, increasingly unaffected by borders and national boundaries, take center stage in the economic world. Harris deconstructs this phenomenon and argues for the immense benefits it could and should have, not just for western wealth, but for economies worldwide, for international communication and for global democracy.
`Social theory is a very difficult subject to teach and it is one that students generally find hard to get to grips with. Teaching Yourself Social Theory offers a highly original and comprehensive resource that will be welcomed by students and teachers alike' - Barry Smart, University of Portsmouth `I have no hesitation in recommending Harris' text to students and teachers of social theory' - Sociology This refreshing and accessible text demonstrates how social theory can be made into an (...) intelligible discourse that touches upon key aspects of everyday life. The abstraction and formalism of much contemporary social theory is criticized as unnecessarily `scholastic' for the beginner. The author maintains that the main problems in studying the subject are not intrinsic to social theory, but derive from how the subject is taught as a university discipline. This lively book uses non-specialist terms to introduce more complex themes, and incorporates a Website with questions and reading guides to some of the classic works. (shrink)
Bradley contends that t he semiology of Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914), the founder of pragmatism, is a standing challenge as much to Gadamerian hermeneutics as to Saussure’s structuralism and its deconstructionist progeny. For Peirce physical matter itself is one specific mode of the activity of semiosis or sign interpretation. The paper outlines the central point and purpose of Peirce’s general metaphysics and describe the basic features of his theory of signs.
This selection from the writings of the great English idealist philosopher F.H. Bradley, on truth, meaning knowledge, and metaphysics, provides within covers of a single volume a selection of original texts that will enable the reader to obtain a firsthand and comprehensive grasp of his thought. In addition, the editors have contributed general introductions to Bradley's logic and metaphysics and particular introductions to specific topics. These provide a systematic explanation of his thought and relate it to developments wihin (...) the recent history of analytical philosophy, giving the reader a framework in which to read and appreciate this important and sometimes difficult writing. Admirably suited for use both as a textbook in taught courses on recent philosophy and for individual study, this introduction comes at a time when Bradley's thought is being reassessed and the importance o his work appreciated once more. As one of only two volumes of Bradley's works available, it is sure to become an essential Bradley reader. (shrink)
The Oxford Readings in Philosophy series brings together important recent writing in major areas of philosophical enquiry, selected from a variety of sources which may not be conveniently available to the university student or general reader. In this volume, John Harris presents the examples of the very best philosophical writing in bioethics from an internationally renowned list of contributors; authors featured include Peter Singer, Helga Kuhse, Tom Beauchamp, Ruth Macklin, and Ronald Dworkin. The book begins with a substantial overview (...) by John Harris, looking at the evolution and nature of bioethics, contemporary debates, and introduces each of the pieces included, setting them in their academic context. -/- Organized thematically, the volume covers the beginnings of life, end of life, value of life, quality of life, future generations, and professional ethics. It is a wide-ranging volume that covers the broad spectrum of the major topics in bioethics, and its clear and accessible approach makes it essential reading for all students of bioethics. (shrink)
Why has the ring of the telephone become a beep? What ever happened to the bumpers and fenders of cars? Why do food commercials never mention hunger?In this encyclopedia of low-brow aesthetics, Daniel Harris concentrates on the nuances of non-art, the uses of the useless, the politics of product design and advertising. We learn how advertisers exaggerate our sensual responses to eating, how close-up nature photography exaggerates the accessibility of the natural world, and how the mutated physiology of dolls (...) invites our pity and affection.In studying its aesthetics, we find consumerism instills disappointment rather than gratification, convincing us that our lives are deficient and wanting. If we are what we buy, then we must buy in order to be. (shrink)
In Enhancing Evolution, leading bioethicist John Harris dismantles objections to genetic engineering, stem-cell research, designer babies, and cloning and makes an ethical case for biotechnology that is both forthright and rigorous.
A BELIEF IN FREE WILL touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality—as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement—without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion. In this enlightening book, Sam Harris argues that this truth about the human mind does not undermine morality (...) or diminish the importance of social and political freedom, but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life. (shrink)
Who am I, and what am I? The question is one asked through the ages, answered in various ways in different disciplines. Identity is a matter of intellectual interest but also of personal and practical interest, attracting attention and stimulating controversy outside the ranks of the specialists. This volume offers a comparison and cross-fertilization of insights and theories from various disciplines in which identity is a key concept. -/- Identity contains essays by six internationally famous contributors, focusing on different facets (...) of identity from the viewpoint of their various disciplines. Two philosophers, Bernard Williams and Derek Parfit, discuss, respectively, numerical identity (when can we say that two phenomena observed at different times are one and the same thing?) and personal identity (how far can the concept of `I' be stretched, and does it always matter whether we can say if that would still be me?). Henry Harris looks at philosophical discussions of identity from the persopective of an experimentalist, and discusses whether philosophical thought-experiments have any basis in scientific reality. -/- The essays that follow offer perspectives from outside philosophy: Michael Ruse considers homosexual identity and to what extent it is reasonable to claim that homosexuality is a social construct. Terence Cave looks at personal identity through the eye of literature and fiction, and portrays idetnity as generated through the narratives that one weaves about oneself or about other people. Finally, Anthony D Smith looks at national identities and how they are formed, analysing how this process is shaped by the interplay of cultural inheritance, political expediency, and myth. (shrink)
As hopes that generative linguistics might solve philosophical problems about the mind give way to disillusionment, old problems concerning the relationship between linguistics and philosophy survive unresolved. This collection surveys the historical engagement between the two, and opens up avenues for further reflection. In Part 1 two contrasting views are presented of the interface nowadays called 'philosophy of linguistics'. Part 2 gives a detailed historical survey of the engagement of analytic philosophy with linguistic problems during the present century, and sees (...) the imposition by philosophers of an 'exploratory' model of thinking as a major challenge to the discipline of linguistics. Part 3 poses the problem of whether linguistics is dedicated to describing independently existing linguistic structures or to imposing its own structures on linguistic phenomena. In Part 4 Harris points out some similarities in the way an eminent linguist and an eminent philosopher invoke the analogy between languages and games; while Taylor analyses the rationale of our metalinguistic claims and their relationship to linguistic theorizing. Providing a wide range of views and ideas this book will be of interest to all those interested and involved in the interface of philosophy and linguistics. (shrink)
When philosophers put forward claims for or against 'property', it is often unclear whether they are talking about the same thing that lawyers mean by 'property'. Likewise, when lawyers appeal to 'justice' in interpreting or criticizing legal rules we do not know if they have in mind something that philosophers would recognize as 'justice'. -/- Bridging the gulf between juristic writing on property and speculations about it appearing in the tradition of western political philosophy, Professor Harris has built from (...) entirely new foundations an analytical framework for understanding the nature of property and its connection with justice. Property and Justice ranges over natural property rights; property as a prerequisite of freedom; incentives and markets; demands for equality of resources; property as domination; property and basic needs; and the question of whether property should be extended to information and human bodily parts. It maintains that property institutions deal both with the use of things and the allocation of wealth, and that everyone has a 'right' that society should provide such an institution. (shrink)
Following kant, idealists establish the transcendental unity of the subject as the prior condition of experience of objects. this is necessarily all-inclusive and the finite self becomes one of its phenomena, which cannot be identified with the transcendental ego, nor yet be wholly divorced from it. this is the basis of kant's paralogism of reason. t h green, f h bradley and edmund husserl are all victims of this paralogism, each in his own way. green fails to avoid it (...) by identifying the transcendental subject with the divine spiritual principle; bradley, admitting the problem's insolubility, propounds an incoherent theory of finite centers of experience; and husserl's device of 'mundanization' proves illegitimate and ambiguous under inspection. (shrink)
Since the birth of the first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, in 1977, we have seen truly remarkable advances in biotechnology. We can now screen the fetus for Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, and a wide range of genetic disorders. We can rearrange genes in DNA chains and redirect the evolution of species. We can record an individual's genetic fingerprint. And we can potentially insert genes into human DNA that will produce physical warning signs of cancer, allowing early detection. In fact, biotechnology (...) has progressed to such a point that virtually any kind of genetic manipulation, if not already possible, is just around the corner. But these breakthroughs also raise serious ethical and moral dilemmas that we are only now beginning to confront. In Wonderwoman and Superman, noted medical ethicist John Harris offers the first thorough analysis of the moral dilemmas created by the revolution in molecular biology. Covering a wide array of recent innovations, Harris discusses, for example, the moral decisions involved and the consequences of creating egg and embryo banks. Who should be allowed to use such resources? Should recipients be screened? Should such banks be open for public or private use? And does it cheapen life to make embryos available for sale? In another chapter, Harris examines the question of conceiving children chiefly for organ donation, focusing on the recent case of a woman who wanted to have a second child to provide a bone marrow donor for her first child sick with leukemia (she intended to abort the fetus if its bone marrow did not genetically match that of her living child). In this case, the medical staff had to decide whether they should perform in-vitro fertilization, knowing that the mother did not satisfy the clinic's criteria (there was no father), and also knowing the potential for abortion. Discussing the ethics of the mother's choice and the clinic's choice, Harris asks whether it is morally correct to create a child as an organ donor, whether the future child would suffer, whether it is worth any suffering to be born, and who has the right to weigh the various factors (both moral and physiological) involved in making these decisions. Delving into a multitude of issues such as when life begins, when suffering is needless, and whether we should play God, Wonderwoman and Superman provides not only a thought-provoking inquiry into the potential and actual ethical dilemmas created by the many advances in biotechnology, but challenges us to learn to choose responsibly and to face the moral implications of the choices that confront us. (shrink)
: The concept of the person has come to be intimately connected with questions about the value of life. It is applied to those sorts of beings who have some special value or moral importance and where we need to prioritize the needs or claims of different sorts of individuals. "Person" is a concept designating individuals like us in some important respects, but possibly including individuals who are very unlike us in other respects. What are these respects and why are (...) they important? This paper sets out to answer these questions and to develop a coherent and useful concept of the person. (shrink)
Virtue consequentialism has been held by many prominent philosophers, but has never been properly formulated. I criticize Julia Driver's formulation of virtue consequentialism and offer an alternative. I maintain that according to the best version of virtue consequentialism, attributions of virtue are really disguised comparisons between two character traits, and the consequences of a trait in non-actual circumstances may affect its actual status as a virtue or vice. Such a view best enables the consequentialist to account for moral luck, unexemplified (...) virtues, and virtues and vices involving the prevention of goodness and badness. (shrink)